Murders down 3.5 percent
Rapes down 6.3 percent
Aggravated assaults down 2.7 percent
Property crimes, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft also all decreased by 2.3 percent statewide.
Juvenile arrests for crimes dropped 3 percent, while adult arrests for all crimes remain unchanged.
North Carolina's overall crime rate has fallen nearly 14 percent in the past 10 years.
"Some of the credit must go to stronger laws and diligent law enforcement. But simply because we are in a decline, we cannot stop to celebrate," said Cooper. "No level of crime is acceptable and we must be even more innovative in our efforts to fight it."
Cooper said he plans to ask the legislature to allow DNA collection from those arrested for felonies and violent misdemeanors to help solve more crimes. He also wants more done to address offenders who are released from prison after their sentences are served.
"We have to find ways to make sure offenders who have done their time don’t turn back to crime when they exit the prison doors," he said.
For more information about 2008 crime statistics, go to www.ncdoj.gov. Click "Crime," then "View Crime Statistics."